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A Few in a Long List of Americans Influencing The Way We Move

In honor of Black History Month, at Optimus Technologies we recognize the significant

contributions of African Americans to the heavy duty trucking industry. Throughout our

history these inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs have made groundbreaking

advancements in heavy duty truck technology, transportation, logistics and vehicle

safety. From the invention of essential components to the development of innovative

trucking solutions Black Americans impact has been instrumental in shaping the


One notable example is the invention of the automatic transmission for commercial

vehicles by Richard Spikes this pioneering development revolutionized heavy duty truck

operations enhancing efficiency and driver convenience. Spikes was a prolific inventor

with eight patents to his name. His inventions included the improvement of many

everyday items impacting the operation of trolley cars, barber chairs and a beer tapper

which is the technology still in use today.

Stephanie W Tubbs Jones was the first African American women from the State of Ohio

elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Jones was a staunch advocate for

transportation and infrastructure development her efforts and legislative work

significantly impacted the heavy duty trucking industry focusing on improving road

infrastructure safety regulations and trucking related policies.

Frederick McKinley Jones was an inventor and an entrepreneur who made

groundbreaking contributions to the trucking industry through his innovative refrigerated

technologies inventing the first portable air cooling unit for trucks known as Thermo king

in the 1930s. While Frederick McKinley Jones is most noted for his innovative focus

around air conditioning and related technologies, it's important to recognize that he is

considered the father of automatic braking systems in heavy duty trucks. His

advancements contributed to the continuous improvement of truck safety and the

overall development of innovative technologies within the industry.

This month and every month throughout the year, Optimus Technologies recognizes the

entrepreneurial, innovative and inventive spirit of Americans who contribute to the

betterment of the trucking industry, safety and the movement of goods and services

throughout our great country.


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